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Indoor Health Hazards: Case Study on Aluminum Electrical Wiring Risks

August 2, 2017
By: Vivian Nguyen

Today we feature an indoor health hazard case study on aluminum electrical wiring risks. This post is about the application of indoor health hazard data to a series of case studies on four different indoor health risks.

Make sure to read the entire series of case studies:

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Indoor Health Hazard Case Study on Aluminum Electrical Wiring Risks

Social-political events can lead to increased prevalence of indoor hazards: the price for copper, the metal used in electrical wiring, increased during the 1960s partly due to an increased demand because of the Vietnam war effort. Basing their knowledge of recent metallurgic studies of the time, this led researchers to propose low-cost aluminum alloys as a viable substitute. As a result, aluminum wiring began to be used widely in domestic construction.

An Increased Risk of Fire in Homes

It was later found that utility grade AA-1350 aluminum conductors installed with non-compatible connectors increased the likelihood of overheating and expanding, which, in combination with inappropriate installation, increased the risk of fire in homes. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), homes built before 1972 and wired with aluminum are 55 times more likely to have one or more wire connections reach “Fire Hazard Conditions” compared to homes with copper wiring. In all, homes likely to be at risk due to aluminum wiring are identified as new homes built between 1965 and 1972.

Spatial Query Results

Indoor health hazard case study
Indoor health hazard case study on aluminum electrical wiring risks: Homes built between 1965 & 1972 in Long Beach, CA
Indoor health hazard case study on aluminum electrical wiring risks
Indoor health hazard case study on aluminum electrical wiring risks: Homes built between 1965 & 1972 in Virginia Beach, VA

LandVision™, a powerful map-based real estate research, analysis, and collaboration tool was used to perform a spatial query for single family homes built between 1965 and 1972 and within the City of Long Beach, California. The same search was done but limited to the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Searched results yielded 1,193 single family homes that met the criteria in Long Beach, CA while 12,400 single family homes met the same criteria in Virginia Beach, VA.

Author Bio

Customer success, map maker, GIS, location technology

Jose A. Robles is Senior Customer Success Analyst at Digital Map Products. First and foremost, he is a customer advocate keen on finding holistic and scalable solutions. A curious and habitual observer, his fields of study include cultural anthropology, geography, disease ecology, and the application of geospatial technologies, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He is passionate about environmental health topics and intrigued by urban landscapes. Contact Jose at jrobles@digmap.com or via LinkedIn.

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